While WordPress has basic security features built-in, it’s not always enough to protect your website from malicious attacks. For secure hosting, many WordPress users turn to plugins to help beef up their level of online protection.
It can be tough to know which WordPress security plugin is right for you, but luckily, we’re here to help. Here, we’re going to go over the best security plugins available for both personal and professional WordPress users.
What is the Best WordPress Security Plugin?
- Sucuri: Best overall WordPress security plugin.
- Wordfence: Best free option.
- iThemes Security Pro: Most versatile choice.
- Bulletproof Security: Best for pro developers.
- MalCare: Best for cleaning up.
- SecuPress: Best for novice users.
- Jetpack Security: Best value for your money.
WordPress Security Plugin Comparison
Here’s a quick overview of all our favorite WordPress security plugins and how they compare in important areas.
|Overall Score (/5)
|Starting Plan (/year)
Sucuri is one of the most well-known names in security when it comes to WordPress websites. It also works for other popular site building platforms, including Joomla, Drupal, Magneto, and more, making it a versatile choice for web developers.
- Powerful firewall protection blocks brute force attacks from bots and hackers.
- Advanced malware scanning and removal for any website.
- Support can be slow, especially for users who don’t have a paid plan.
- A bit of a learning curve to use and customize.
Ease of Use: 4.6/5
Sucuri is fairly easy to use for most users. The user interface is intuitive, though there can be a bit of a learning curve for more advanced features. In general, though, it’s easy for even tech novices to customize their security settings to best protect their website.
Website Features: 5/5
Malware Scanning: Depending on the plan you choose, Securi will scan for malware every 12 hours to every 30 minutes.
Instant notifications: If your website is hacked, you’ll receive an immediate notification that something is wrong.
Firewall Protection: Paid plans offer some of the best DDoS and firewall protection of any WordPress security plugin available on the market.
Malware Removal: Sucuri will clean up any website infected by malware, including existing websites requiring thorough cleaning.
Blacklist Monitoring: Securi will ensure that your website doesn’t get blacklisted thanks to hackers’ actions.
Value for Money: 4.4/5
Sucuri offers a free version that scans and eliminates the most common threats facing WordPress website owners. You’ll have access to features such as malware scanning, integrity and blacklist monitoring, and security hardening at no extra cost.
If you’re looking for more advanced security, Sucuri offers three tiers with additional features such as firewall security and SSL support. You can choose between the Basic version for $199.99 per year or the Pro version for $299.99 annually. There’s also a Sucuri Business plan available for $499.99 per year that offers a malware removal SLA.
Best Free Option
Wordfence is one of the most popular security plugins for WordPress around, with over 150 million installs. It allows you to see and fight threats in real-time, whether they come from bots, Google crawlers, or hackers trying to access your site.
- It allows you to see traffic and hack attempts in real-time so that you can nip problems in the bud.
- Fairly comprehensive free solution for small website owners.
- The scanning process is complex and can easily overload the site server, especially with larger WordPress websites.
- Fewer pricing tiers available than other popular plugins.
Ease of Use: 5/5
Wordfence has a user-friendly dashboard that’s easy to navigate even for those new to the software. You can easily configure your security setup and check on potential threats in real-time. Even tech novices will have no trouble using even the more advanced features of Wordfence.
Website Features: 4.4/5
Real-Time Monitoring: See data about potentially malicious traffic in real-time to stop attempted attacks.
Malware Scanning: Scan files, plugins, themes, and more to ensure that they’re safe for your site.
Repair Functions: If files are corrupted, you can view and repair them.
Country Blocking: Wordfence lets you block all traffic from geographic regions known for cybercrime.
Two-Factor Authentication: 2FA capabilities let you make it harder for hackers to make their way past your website’s defenses using brute force attacks.
Web Application Firewall: A WAF ensures that threats are blocked before they get a chance to reach your site.
Value for Money: 3.8/5
Wordfence offers a free version of the software that provides plenty of protection for most small websites. You get much more than many other free options, including two-factor authentication, real-time analytics, malware scanning, and a WAF.
If you want an even higher level of protection, you can upgrade to Wordfence Premium to access more security features. Premium plans start at $99 per year and include advanced options such as spam protection, real-time updates, and top-level support.
If you own multiple websites, you can save on Wordfence Premium plans by buying in bulk. You can save up to 25% by buying more than one site key. However, there aren’t multiple pricing tiers for users protecting a single website.
iThemes Security Pro
Most Versatile Choice
iThemes fights malware, spam, hackers, and more with a wide range of security features. It’s trusted amongst WordPress users worldwide, thanks to its strong focus on eliminating vulnerabilities against brute force attacks.
- Over 30 different security measures make this a versatile choice for any website.
- Strong protection against brute force attacks.
- Live customer service is only available with paid plans.
- Since iThemes has no scanner of its own, it relies on Sucuri’s SiteCheck Malware Scanner.
Ease of Use: 4.4/5
It’s easy to install iThemes security and use it to protect your WordPress website. The intuitive interface is easy to navigate, though there are many different features to sort through. It may take some time to get used to all of the different security options available to you.
Website Features: 5/5
Plenty of Options: There are more than 30 different security features to choose from when using iThemes Pro.
Malware Scanning: iThemes offers malware scanning through Sucuri’s SiteCheck Malware Scanner.
404 Detection: Find hidden problems causing 404 errors for your website.
Brute Force Protection: Avoid bots or hackers attacking your password with a brute force attack.
Away Mode: Protect your dashboard when you’re away from your computer.
Backups: You can schedule regular backups of your database.
Strong Passwords: You can gain access to airtight passwords and 2FA features.
Value for Money: 4.3/5
The free version of iThemes offers enough basic protection for most small websites and personal projects. However, it’s less comprehensive than many other free plugin options available on the market.
iThemes Security Pro offers many more features designed to help protect your website against cyber attacks. Three premium plans offer security options such as 2FA, malware scans, free updates, and support for up to two websites. There’s a blogger plan for $80 per year, a small business plan for $127 per year, and a Gold plan for $199 annually.
Best for Pro Developers
If you’re looking for customization, Bulletproof Security gives you complete control over just how you want to operate different security features to protect your website.
- Includes advanced security tools that allow users a high level of customization.
- The premium version is good value for money, with a one-time fee.
- The dashboard can be a challenge to use for tech novices.
- Folders and data tables can be difficult to uninstall completely.
Ease of Use: 3/5
While Bulletproof offers plenty of protection for web developers of all skill levels, it can be challenging to figure out for those with less experience. The interface isn’t the most user-friendly. It can take a while to figure out how to use the software’s unique settings, though a setup wizard can make things a little bit easier.
Website Features: 4.3/5
Login Security: Special login security and monitoring features ensure that only authorized users can access your website.
Database Backups: Backup and restore corrupted databases to keep your website running smoothly.
Malware Scanning: An MScan malware scanner checks for threats to alert you before they become a problem.
Advanced Security Tools: Unique options such as BPS Pro ARQ Intrusion Detection allow experienced web developers to optimize their security settings.
Value for Money: 4.6/5
The free Bulletproof plugin offers a wide variety of tools that can help to keep small websites safe. You can even get database backups without any extra charge, which most other security plugins don’t offer.
If you want to upgrade to the Bulletproof Premium, it costs just $69.95. The software is actively updated and developed so that you know you’re getting the strongest protection possible against both old and emerging threats. The company offers a 30-day moneyback guarantee in the event you aren’t satisfied.
Best for Cleaning Up
MalCare is one of the few WordPress security plugins designed to not only detect malware but also eliminate it. It’s fast, effective, and users trust the plugin’s intelligent approach to online security.
- Able to remove malware once it’s detected.
- Multiple security features at the click of a button are easily accessible for users of all skill levels.
- Doesn’t work for locally hosted websites.
- No two-factor authentication feature.
Ease of Use: 4.8/5
MalCare is easy to use, with a clean layout and a dashboard that’s easy to read and navigate. It makes threats clear and gives you control over which actions you’d like to take, from scanning for malware to removing it.
Website Features: 4.2/5
Remote Malware Scanning: Unlike many other plugins, MalCare’s remote scanner won’t overload your server.
One-Click and Automated Malware Removal: You can get rid of malware you find on your computer with just the click of a button or a scheduled purge.
Developer Tools: MalCare offers both client reports and white labeling.
Country Blocking: Block addresses from geographical regions attempting to hack your site.
Firewall Protection: Guard against brute force attacks in real-time.
Value for Money: 3.7/5
MalCare offers a free plan that gives you basic malware scanning capabilities. You can detect threats to your website, but you won’t have access to the tools you need to fix the issue.
If you want a greater protection level, MalCare offers a range of premium plans that include advanced options such as single-click malware removal. Personal plans start at $99 per year, but you can also find plans for developers with multiple websites. The Small Business plan costs $259 per year, while the Developers plan costs $599 annually.
Best for Novice Users
While relatively new to the market, SecuPress has made a name for itself as an effective WordPress security plugin over the years. It’s easy to use and offers all of the security features most web developers need to protect their site, especially from brute force attacks.
- Easy to use thanks to a user-friendly interface.
- Protects against brute force attacks through multiple avenues.
- Malware removal costs an additional fee.
- Customer support can be difficult to contact.
Ease of Use: 4.9/5
SecuPress is one of the easiest plugins around to use, no matter your level of expertise. It’s got a sleek and simple dashboard that’s a breeze to navigate. SecuPress lets you choose exactly which features you want to enable or disable to keep your site safe.
Website Features: 3.8/5
Regular Scans: You can set up a 35 checkpoint security scan or a PHP malware scan in no time flat, checking themes, plugins, and more.
Malware Removal: If you’re willing to pay a fee, you can have a professional remove malware from your website to have it up and running smoothly once more.
Login Protection: SecuPress lets you protect your site against brute force protection attacks.
Geo-Blocking: Block entire geographic regions if you’re suffering from repeated attacks.
WordPress Backups. Ensure your files and databases are safe with online backups.
Value for Money: 3/5
The free version of SecuPress offers plenty of features that can help protect your website from brute force attacks, including login protection, blocked IP’s as well as a firewall. The free plan will also guard you against most hackers and malicious bots.
If you want access to more advanced features such as two-factor authentication, Geo-blocking, PHP malware scans, and instant notifications, you need to upgrade to a premium plan starting at $69.99 per year. You also have to pay an additional fee for malware removal and professional configuration of your site.
Best Value for Your Money
Jetpack offers a wide variety of features for your WordPress website, and the plugin isn’t just limited to security functions. It gives you a comprehensive way to revamp your site and attract the kind of traffic you’re looking for.
- Offers modules and features beyond simple security options.
- Offers a wide variety of cost-effective paid plans.
- All of the extra features can interfere with website speeds.
- It can be somewhat difficult to navigate through different options.
Ease of Use: 3.8/5
The same people who make WordPress make Jetpack, so naturally, they’re easy to use together. However, it can be somewhat confusing to navigate the user interface with all of the additional features. It may take some time to get used to using all of the different modules available.
Website Features: 4/5
Control of Social Media: Jetpack can help you to control your social media posts, photos, and videos that appear on your site.
Spam Protection: You can avoid annoying and sometimes dangerous spam messages in your inbox.
Backup: Ensure you don’t lose valuable data with a paid backup.
Brute Force Attack Protection: Ensure you don’t fall victim to hackers using brute force on your password.
Secure Sign-on: Protect your website against unauthorized parties acting as you at login.
Value for Money: 4.8/5
Jetpack’s free version is enough for most personal and small business websites to protect themselves against hackers and malware. It includes features such as brute force attack protection and secure login.
You can access more security features by upgrading to a premium plan, starting at $99 per month. There’s a Backup plan, a Scan plan, and an anti-spam plan that all offer basic protection. You can also get Jetpack Security or Jetpack Complete, which both offer even more real-time security features.
How to Choose a WordPress Security Plugin
Before you launch your website, it’s crucial that you take steps to protect yourself against cyber attacks by investing in a security plugin. However, the question remains: how do you pick the right plugin for your WordPress website?
You can find plugin options to suit any style of website, from personal blogs to online storefronts. However, there are a couple of important things to keep in mind when it comes to WordPress security plugins.
Ease of Use
If you’re a tech novice, it’s best to stick to security plugins with a user-friendly setup. The dashboard should be easy to read and navigate without too steep of a learning curve. On the other hand, more advanced developers may want to opt for customizable security options that may be too complex for beginners.
Value for Money
For many of us, the most critical consideration when it comes to web plugins is cost. If you’re on a budget, you can find plenty of free WordPress security plugin options ideal for smaller websites. However, if you want access to advanced security features, you may want to upgrade to a premium option.
When it comes to security features, more is always better. However, keep in mind what type of website you’re setting up when you consider what you want. For example, a blogger may be concerned about login page protection, while online storefronts may be more concerned with financial data encryption capabilities.
Will a Free Security Plugin Protect Me?
Many WordPress security plugins offer a free, bare-bones version of their product for those looking to improve their online security without breaking the bank. Most free software provides basic protection on top of the options already included by WordPress.
While free plugins might suit some users, they aren’t the best option for everybody. They offer limited security, especially for WordPress websites that include data collection features, such as online shops.
For just a few dollars each month, most plugins will let you upgrade to a paid version that offers far more security features than the free software. For example, instead of just basic firewall protection, you may also gain access to tracking options, recovery tools, and more.
If you’re worried about the security of you or your customers’ data, we recommend springing for a paid security plugin instead of a more basic free option. Look for something that provides maximum protection for your WordPress website. Many plugins offer tiered pricing depending on the level of security you need.
9 Best WordPress Security Plugins: Roundup
Installing a security plugin for your WordPress website is always a good idea. With so many options available on the market, though, it can be tough to figure out which will provide the best protection for you. That’s why we recommend Sucuri as our favorite WordPress security plugin, along with six other top-quality options to keep your site safe.
Best WordPress Security Plugins
- Sucuri – Best overall.
- Wordfence – Best free.
- iThemes Security Pro – Most versatile.
- Bulletproof Security – Best for pros.
- MalCare – Best aftercare.
- SecuPress – Most user-friendly.
- Jetpack Security – Best value.
With the right WordPress security plugin, you can keep both you and your customers safe from online attacks. Investing in the right security can make all the difference in the long-term success of your website.
If you’re still considering which security plugin is best for you, consider these tips.
Which WordPress security plugin is easy to use?
Most WordPress plugins are developed with the novice user in mind, so they’re all generally easy to use. SecuPress has one of the easiest dashboards to navigate, with clear labeling and color-coding.
Which WordPress security plugin is best for advanced users?
If you’re looking for more control over your online security, you may want to opt for something that allows you to take control and customize safety solutions. Bulletproof Security offers a range of tools geared towards more advanced web developers.
Which WordPress security plugin is the cheapest?
Almost all security plugin options offer a free version of their software. Often, this is enough for web developers on a budget looking to amp up their online protection. If you’re looking for more advanced features, Jetpack security offers some of the best value for your money, though options such as SecuPress cost less annually.